Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 by & filed under Lifestyle.

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Carley Knobloch, digital lifestyle expert, shares her tips on how to capture a holiday-card-worthy photo with… a smartphone! Carley is a regular Today Show and CNN contributor and an HGTV host. Through her website, newsletter and her self-produced video show, Digitwirl, she helps people navigate the digital world. Carley resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two kids, springer spaniel, and myriad digital devices. Find her on Twitter at @carleyknobloch. 

They say the best camera is the one with you. Chances are… that’s probably your smartphone. While no smartphone tops a real, quality camera photo, there are simple ways to drastically improve your smartphone-ography 101 skills. {We’ll cheers to that!} Test the tips below to get your on-the-go snapshots picture perfect – you’ll be a *smartphone-ographer* in no time!

Smartphone-ography 101 | Red Stamp

LIGHT RIGHT

A Smartphone flash is perfect for Halloween: Nothing drains the blood from someone’s face and makes the background look more stark and foreboding. If you’re not going for the haunted look, natural light is always best, so keep your flash off at all times, because “auto” setting will default to a flash a lot more often than it needs to.  And don’t forget the rules of photography too— avoid shooting into backlit scenes and keep your hand steady in low light so your subjects don’t look blurry.

Smartphone-ography 101 | Red Stamp

ZOOM LESS, CROP MORE

I get it – you’re staring at the stage, but not quite sure which one of the tiny children is your daughter. Stop right there, Leibovitz. If you zoom, you’ll zap the clarity right out of the picture. Instead, take the shot from where you are and zoom/crop later— the resolution on your phone’s camera is good enough that you’ll be able to crop pretty tightly before things start to get blurry. {Oh, and note to self: bribe the room parent next year for better seats.}

Smartphone-ography 101 | Red Stamp

PUT A GRID ON IT

Smartphone pictures are more interesting when the subject is off to the side a little. Use the *rule of thirds* when composing a picture: It will help you create a more interesting shot before you snap— err, tap.

Smartphone-ography 101 | Red Stamp

LOOK SHARP

Speaking of tapping, did you know that one tap can change the focus of your photograph? Try this :: Place an object far away and one up close. Now tap on each in the frame and watch the camera refocus, blurring out one and sharpening the other. Try this next time the family assembles for a picture— tap on faces to ensure they’re in focus.

Smartphone-ography 101 | Red Stamp

GRAB AN APP

Camera apps can give you a lot more control over your pictures than your phone’s native camera app, without the extra step of bringing them into editing software on your computer. Apps like Camera Awesome (Android & iPhone) and Camera +  (iPhone/iPad Only) have a wealth of features that stabilize, optimize and adjust your photos with ease, and allow 1-click sharing when you’re done. You’ll be stunned at the *before* and *after* improvements.

Oh, and if all that doesn’t give you sharp and beautiful photos, grab a lint-free cloth and wipe your camera’s lens.  News flash: The bottom of your purse or your jeans pocket aren’t the cleanest places, and *grime* doesn’t count as an Instagram filter.

 

Now that you’ve captured the shot, add it to a photo card to commemorate + share the memories made!

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